The Twelve Tips of Christmas

Stress, over eating, accidents - Christmas can be a perilous time for your pets. Leading pet insurance provider, Pinnacle Insurance plc, offers some 'top tips' to help keep your pets fit and well during the busy festive period.

1. Beware of Chocolate!
Dogs like chocolate but it is toxic to them if consumed in large quantities! Store it well away from your pet.
2. The trouble with tinsel
Pets have a real fondness for tinsel and many other festive decorations which, if swallowed, can cause intestinal blockages that will need emergency treatment. Keep it out of paw's reach.
3. Silent night
You will almost certainly have guests popping in throughout the festive season which can prove stressful to your pets. Provide a 'sanctuary' so your pet can escape the turmoil.
4. Danger - High voltage!
For pets that love to chew, extension leads can be irresistible. Make sure that electric leads are covered to protect them from inquisitive pets.
5. The holly and the ivy. And the mistletoe...
Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are highly poisonous to our furry friends so keep them away from pets.
6. Flames + Pets = Hazard
Never leave a pet unattended around a lit candle. One wag of the tail can lead to disaster.
7. Rocking around the Christmas Tree
Watch out for adventurous cats or playful dogs who could topple a tree should they decide to climb it or knock into it. Also, keep your floor clear of dropped pine needles, as these will prove painful if caught in paws and will cause even bigger problems if swallowed.
8. Eat, drink and be merry...
Festive fare is not good for pets and can lead to serious intestinal complaints. Don't include your pets in the annual indulgence!
9. Christmas wrapped up
Dispose of aluminium foil and plastic film that has been used to cover food as pets find them irresistible. Wrapping paper should follow the foil into the bin as it may also become an inappropriate meal.
10. As regular as clockwork
The Christmas period can be very unsettling for your pet but retaining its usual routine of feeding and exercise can help calm its nerves.
11. Be prepared
Keep details of emergency vets who will be available over Christmas, by the 'phone.
12. Peace of Mind - a gift worth receiving.
Rather than toys and treats, a Christmas gift well worth considering and which can save you hundreds of pounds on unexpected vets bills, is Pinnacle Pet Healthcare, life time pet insurance cover from Pinnacle Insurance.

Full terms and conditions of Pinnacle Pet Healthcare products can be found - and cover purchased - via a web-enabled application process that's speedy, simple and secure. Alternatively, call Pinnacle on 0845 2000 738 - lines are open Monday to Thursday from 8.00am to 10.00pm, and Friday to Sunday from 8.00am to 8.00pm.